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The Canyons Utah... Is it as bad as people say?

post #1 of 123
Thread Starter 
So I am going to utah for 5 days.  How is the Canyons?  I hear it has an annoying layout but should this stop me from skiing there?  Also how does it compare to PCRM and DV?  I am planning to ski in the Park City area for 3 days and then go to either Alta/Snowbird or Snowbasin for 2 days.

Thanks
post #2 of 123
What are you looking for in your skiing?  Are there other people skiing with you?  Ability levels?
post #3 of 123
We skied there several times and it is where the locals ski when the snow is good.  It is around three times the size of Deer Valley and slightly larger than Park City.  None of the Park City resorts get the massive Cottonwood Canyon (Alta and Snowbird) powder dumps, but the snow is usually excellent. 

The layout is isn't too bad at all!  You have eight mountains to ski. Eight.   It is easy to get from one to another although you may end up on a cat track for a run.  So what?  The major problem is no lodge to warm/eat on Dreamscape and Dreamcatcher mountains.  The good news is that there is never a lift line there, and the powder stays for a while.  9990 has great expert terraine but be careful...there was a deadly avalanche in bounds there a couple of years ago (after the blasting).

There is almost no beginner terraine, just High Meadow.  They say 10% of the mountain is beginner, but that is bs.   Go to Deer Valley is you are new to skiing.  The Canyons has lots of intermediate, expert and double diamond trails to ski.  The Grand Summit Hotel is next to the gondola.

Park City Mountain Resort is another great mountain, and you can ski right into town.  It is usually a bit more crowded because it is better known. 

Deer Valley is the ultimate for luxury skiing and dining.  No boarders allowed.  Overgroomed slopes (like carpets).  But that is what a lot of rich people want, I guess. 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier27 View Post

So I am going to utah for 5 days.  How is the Canyons?  I hear it has an annoying layout but should this stop me from skiing there?  Also how does it compare to PCRM and DV?  I am planning to ski in the Park City area for 3 days and then go to either Alta/Snowbird or Snowbasin for 2 days.

Thanks
post #4 of 123
Thread Starter 
Looking for skiing some groomers,bowls, powder but nothing off-piste.  I am skiing with some friends and we are level 7-8 skiers.
post #5 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post


We skied there several times and it is where the locals ski when the snow is good.  It is around three times the size of Deer Valley and slightly larger than Park City.  None of the Park City resorts get the massive Cottonwood Canyon (Alta) powder dumps, but the snow is usually excellent. 

The layout is isn't too bad at all!  You have eight mountains to ski.  It is easy to get from one to another although you may end up on a cat track for a run.  So what?  The major problem is no lodge to warm/eat on Dreamscape and Dreamcatcher mountains.  The good news is that there is never a lift line there, and the powder stays for a while.  9990 has great expert terraine but be careful...there was a deadly avalanche in bounds there a couple of years ago (after the blasting).

There is almost no beginner terraine, just High Meadow.  They say 10% of the mountain is beginner, but that is bs.   Go to Deer Valley is you are new to skiing.  The Canyons has lots of intermediate, expert and double diamond trails to ski.


 

That was very helpful thanks.  Would this be the best place to ski powder?  Also, how hard is the 9990 mountain?  We are good but not amazing skiers.  Would that be too hard?
post #6 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier27 View Post

Looking for skiing some groomers,bowls, powder but nothing off-piste.  I am skiing with some friends and we are level 7-8 skiers.

Go to the Canyons by all means, especially if you like tree skiing.
On any day you feel like going to DV or PCMR, smack yourself and go to Solitude or Snowbird instead.
post #7 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier27 View Post
Would this be the best place to ski powder?  Also, how hard is the 9990 mountain?  We are good but not amazing skiers.  Would that be too hard?

It is a good place to ski powder.   Solitude and Snowbasin and Alta are better places to -learn- powder.   Snowbird is teh best for *steep* powder.

9990 is OK, nothing much to it if there's a decent coat of snow.  
post #8 of 123
You should have a great time at The Canyons if you are "advanced" skiers.  I forgot to mention (above) that the snowmaking is best at Park City.  It should not matter once there are a couple of good dumps and everything is covered.  If you are going in early December PCMR may have more runs open.  If not, The Canyons is the great "secret" a lot of east coast people don't know about...and should know about.
post #9 of 123
  Many locals like the Canyons 'cause the season pass is much cheaper than the other resorts. Many PC locals who can afford it and take their pick favor DV. I like PCMR, but hey, I'm in the minority. I have friends, great skiers, who love the Canyons... guess in my half dozen days there I didn't get it. I think one has to hit it on a pow day (and miss somewhere else, like the Cottonwoods) or else like narrow icy groomers. I think the legal hassels are resolved, but they're broke and the maintenance shows it. It was planned from the ground up as a real estate development, so the parking lot is a mile from the lift. This is solved by a "people mover" gondola that drops you three city blocks from the gondola so's you can walk past all the shops and amenities... if you're real comfortable walking in boots and carrying gear...They lost me right there... add the weird double fall lines and short vert and even on a powder day I'm still not gettin' it. I hear that the OB access is amazing, and so it is.. standing at the boundary looking south at miles of open bowls is tantalizing...   Still, I have a standing date with a Canyons "insider" so I may yet find enlightenment....
post #10 of 123
Agree with Mr. Crab.  We have been to Park City the past two Christmas breaks and skied all three resorts.  Getting on the slopes at The Canyons can be a pain.  On the actual mountain itself I like the extreme right and left of the resort but the "middle" didn't do a lot for me. Lots of runs skiing past houses.  I like PCMR and the layout of the mountain, of the three it had the largest crowds (remember we were there over Christmas).  We spent more time at Deer Valley our second trip and I really started to like the place.  Our first year I thought it was so so, but this last time we spent a lot of time on the Empire side and had a great time.  I would rank it DV, PCMR, TC.
post #11 of 123
''We skied there several times and it is where the locals ski when the snow is good.  It is around three times the size of Deer Valley and slightly larger than Park City.''


DV ......... 2026 acres
Canyons...3700 acres
PCMR......3300 acres
post #12 of 123
I have only skiied it 2x. There first time I went with 2 great skiers who were PC locals and gave me a guided tour of the best spots on the mountain. Very fun day. It can be frustrating the first time you go alone because of the fact that it is 8 peaks and there are not as easily connected as you would like. On the day that I had the tour we did not have time to head OB. Did not see much beginner terrain but then I was not looking for that.

9990 is good, nothing too extreme and it is a short boot pack off of the lift. To what quant2325 said, as soon as we went up 9990 the avy beacons went on even though it is technically inbounds.

I suggest that you give it a try. I am partial to PCMR at this point because I still have young kids.
post #13 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post


The layout is isn't too bad at all!  You have eight mountains to ski. Eight.   It is easy to get from one to another although you may end up on a cat track for a run.  So what?  The major problem is no lodge to warm/eat on Dreamscape and Dreamcatcher mountains.  The good news is that there is never a lift line there, and the powder stays for a while.  9990 has great expert terraine but be careful...there was a deadly avalanche in bounds there a couple of years ago (after the blasting).

There is almost no beginner terraine, just High Meadow.  They say 10% of the mountain is beginner, but that is bs.   Go to Deer Valley is you are new to skiing.  The Canyons has lots of intermediate, expert and double diamond trails to ski.  The Grand Summit Hotel is next to the gondola.


 

I skied there last Spring and agree completely with quant.  First, its a beautiful place,and so big that you can find lots of uncrowded places.  Great variety of slopes -- except, as quant noted, not that many easy (and easily accessible) greens, and many of the blues are more like double blues.  This was not a problem for my daughter or me, but we went there with some neighbors and their three kids, two of which would have been better off on greens (that family has decided to go to PCMR this Spring). 

I also think the "difficulty" of getting from peak to peak is over-stated in this forum.  It's not like you have to carry your gear to the next peak -- you ski there.  I actually thought it was fun to figure out, together with my then 8-year-old daughter, how to get to where we wanted. 

Also, we got great lodging rates.  We had a studio at the Sundial lodge with a "ski-free and breakfast-free" package for $216/night.   
post #14 of 123
I think the people who complain about it probably are challenged finding their way to work on a daily basis. OK, there are some tricks, but it's the best of the PC hills by a fair margin in my opinion.

My usual scenerio is to go up the gondola and continue to take lifts to the left until I get to dreamscape, and stay there for a while. If you've got fresh pow, just stay there for the day.

After that, go all the way back down to the Tombstone lift (stay right all the way and check out the mansions along the way), then go all the way right to the other side and hit that part of the hill.

DV is OK, and isn't as gaperish as its reputation says if you go back to Empire Canyon and stick around there. PC I just never cared for.
post #15 of 123
In response to the title question, the simple answer is of course not.  The problem is that every ski hill's success is dependent upon its regional context, and Utah has stiff competition.  

I've always had a lukewarm attitude toward the Park City resorts due to greater lure of Alta/Snowbird.  I have 12 ski days lifetime at the former vs. 82 at the latter.

Even within the Park City group, The Canyons tends to have the worst snow.  PCMR has Jupiter Bowl, which resembles Big Cottonwood in terms of both snow and terrain.  Deer Valley has mostly north exposure vs. east at The Canyons.

The Canyons layout is unique and I actually find it fairly interesting.  Fortunately the lifts are nearly all high speed as they would be long tedious rides otherwise.  I also like the "old" terrain served by Super Condor, often overlooked by those who head up the gondola and then move south.

If you're based in Park City for any length of time it's worth checking out.  From the diverse opinion above, you can see that preference among the 3 resorts varies. 

Comprex's powder advice in post #7 is excellent.

I wrote a resort guide for The Canyons in 2001, based upon my first day there in 1999: http://webpages.charter.net/tcrocker818/cnynguid.htm
post #16 of 123
When I travel to Utah for skiing - 1 day at The Canyons is a requirement, but not 2 days. To me it's kind of a different area. I advise people for there thier first trip there to take the area tour early it starts at the Red Pine Lodge area, is free and you kind of get the lay of the area so to speak. With 8 different mountains it can become confusing.
I spend most of my time, when in Utah, in the Cottonwoods. I just like'm better than the lower areas.
post #17 of 123

Hey guys - first post! I'm gonna pile on the canyons bandwagon here, and would definitely recommend a visit if you're in the area. I'm not sure what people dislike so much about the layout. Yeah, it pays to have a trail map handy, but I think the layout spreads out the crowds well. Generally the only lift lines you'll encounter are at the Gondola in the morning, and maybe at some of the lifts around the red pine lodge, but usually just on the busiest days. I think it's kind of fun setting out and exploring different parts of the resort, and getting to and from different areas. My biggest complaint, which has been previously noted, is that the southern 2/3rd's of the resort have limited facilities at best - just some outdoor grills and porta-potties.

      How does it stack up against DV and PCMR? It's bigger, generally less crowded, and I think has better, more interesting terrain. As noted, it's not the best choice for skiers who like green runs as they are concentrated in a small area with a limited number of runs to pick from. Otherwise, it has lots of everything else - steeps, chutes, bowls, bumps, trees, groomers, inbounds hiking and back-country access. Someone also mentioned the short vertical here, but I think it skis longer than DV or PCMR. The Canyons has 5 different lifts with more than 1400 vertical spread across 5 separate peaks. DV has 3 (all on the same peak) and PCMR has only 1. 
 
 
 
post #18 of 123
Not to beat this to death, but here is an article: http://www.skinet.com/ski/resorts/2009/11/grander-canyons
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier27 View Post

So I am going to utah for 5 days.  How is the Canyons?  I hear it has an annoying layout but should this stop me from skiing there?  Also how does it compare to PCRM and DV?  I am planning to ski in the Park City area for 3 days and then go to either Alta/Snowbird or Snowbasin for 2 days.

Thanks
post #19 of 123
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone... you guys seem to say good stuff about the canyons so why do people rate the PC resorts from DV, then PCMR then the Canyons?  Is the elevation really that much of a difference?
post #20 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier27 View Post

Thanks everyone... you guys seem to say good stuff about the canyons so why do people rate the PC resorts from DV, then PCMR then the Canyons?  Is the elevation really that much of a difference?

I assume you're referring to the Ski and Skiing Mag rankings.

You may want to search on resort ranking, or something like that, as it's a story onto itself, but my opinion is that the Magazine get the "resort" crowd's rankings of ski areas, whereas here you get skiers rankings of resorts. I don't care at all whether it's a resort or not - I'd much rather grab a sandwich out of my pack on a great hill than have a gourmet lunch on a lesser area. You don't find many brown baggers having lunch on the lift at DV, but you'll see a few on a powder day at Dreamscape.

Just consider that DV is ahead of Altabird in the "rankings", and it becomes clear what the respondents priorities are.
post #21 of 123
A lot of the Deer Valley crowd skis with their new Bogner outfits bought in Florida two weeks before their vacation.  That is OK, though, because Deer Valley knows who they are and they know their customer well.  And Talisker, with a lot of holdings in Deer Valley, recently bought The Canyons.  WIth any luck, the golf course goes in this summer and the economy turns a bit so they can expand the resort making it larger than Vail.  That is the potential of The Canyons...they can expand into the next valley with Talisker can taking care of the politics.

Ski and Skiing have declining readership because they have a big problem of defining their customer base.  They want the wealthy customer but most articles are written for the 20 somethings or novice skiers.  The wealthy readers and good skiers are elsewhere.  The rich are reading the Wall Street Journal, the Economist and Barrons.  The good skiers, eshewing Bogner for North Face or Patagonia threads that will last a decade or more, are online.  Some may even be on this thread!
post #22 of 123
A black marked trail at DV, is a blue marked trail at alta/bird, just my way of thinking/skiing. But, I think to the DV crowd, skiing black marked trails are a status symbol. The difficulty has nothing to do with it. LOL
But I will give them (DV) this; the lunch buffet at Stein Eriksen lodge is tops, $40 w/ tip past march. The crowd I ski with is like the beverly hillbilly's came to lunch. I have skied there in the past, but just eat lunch there one day while in Utah. Ya just gotta love it.
post #23 of 123
If you have to stop to eat lunch - go to Snowbasin - better food and terrain.
post #24 of 123
If I had 3 days in PC, here's what I would do.

Day 1) Deer Valley
Day 2) PCMR
Day 3) The Canyons
Day 4) Alta
Day 5) Snowbird

This way you are practically gift assured to have a ski trip of a lifetime.!!  AND...., each day you ski you are a day closer to skiing Snowbird.!!

Utah is pretty close to heaven on earth.



This picture is from DV. It really sucks there. NOT>!!
post #25 of 123
I have only skied one day at the Canyons, but my impression is that it is a good mountain (I know, I could see it from the lifts!) ruined by a bad ski resort.
post #26 of 123
Are there bad ski areas in Utah?  At any of the majors it is kind of like less astounding. 
post #27 of 123

I thought is was a pithy epigram, but to weaken it by explaining -- some of the terrain and snow are good.  The layout of the lifts and trail network and the big roads and houses running through the middle of the slopes on the lower half of the mountain are bad.  The difficulty getting from the parking lot to the base lodge is annoying.

Our group (three adults and three kids) got seperated when skiing together (on the same trail) and wound up at the bottom of different lifts.  And none of us thought we turned off the trail.

I'm sure you get used to it and/or learn work-arounds if you go there a lot.  Maybe I just started out grumpy that day.  But I was sufficiently turned off that there may never be another chance for the Canyons to change my mind.

post #28 of 123
I've gone to the Canyons twice-once during a relatively snow-free February and once during spring conditions where the morning was very icy and the afternoon literally saw the melt gushing down the mountain. I thought the terrain on the left side was relatively flat-my experience with the right side on the resort was limited due to the fact I broke my ankle the first day (left sided) day. The second trip with the really icy morning-I broke my board and dislocated my shoulder the first day. We spent the second day on that trip touring the Olympic complex.
I spent the second day of the first trip watching the Superbowl pregame festivities with 2 other people with fractures I met in the bar.
post #29 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by csavage View Post

I've gone to the Canyons twice-once during a relatively snow-free February and once during spring conditions where the morning was very icy and the afternoon literally saw the melt gushing down the mountain. I thought the terrain on the left side was relatively flat-my experience with the right side on the resort was limited due to the fact I broke my ankle the first day (left sided) day. The second trip with the really icy morning-I broke my board and dislocated my shoulder the first day. We spent the second day on that trip touring the Olympic complex.
I spent the second day of the first trip watching the Superbowl pregame festivities with 2 other people with fractures I met in the bar.
 




Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugaree View Post

If I had 3 days in PC, here's what I would do.

Day 1) Deer Valley
Day 2) PCMR
Day 3) The Canyons
Day 4) Alta
Day 5) Snowbird

This way you are practically gift assured to have a ski trip of a lifetime.!!  AND...., each day you ski you are a day closer to skiing Snowbird.!!

Utah is pretty close to heaven on earth.



This picture is from DV. It really sucks there. NOT>!!
I wish we had that in the east!
post #30 of 123
 The more I ski the Canyons the more I like it.  (6 days total).

It really has everything and I like it much more than PCMR.

Dreamcatcher area has super glades. SuperCondor has great terrain.    Aspiring experts will really get some confidence on Saddleback Express.  

If you already have your lodging and are going to be in Park City there really is no question... give The Canyons a try.  
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